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  • Not for nothing

    This thread is not about the GSG in itself but it is about the expression
    "not for nothing".

    In this thread anyone can publish versions of this expression, so that we may have a collection of different uses of it.

    I therefore invite those who have some examples to publish them here.

    The only requirement is that the examples contain the construction "not for nothing" and were written by authors born in Victorian times or earlier, but preferably Victorian times.

    Firstly, the expression was constructed like this in the GSG (just a reminder, no discussion about the GSG now):

    "...are not the men that will be blamed for nothing" or, if you prefer another version:

    "...are the men that will not be blamed for nothing".

    Now, some people believe that the expression was a "cockney double negative" used especially by the lower classes in Whitechapel.

    Therefore, it would be very interesting to see some examples for that use with the construction "not for nothing" here. So please post if you have such.

    But the expression "not for nothing" also has a long history in English literature, dating back to Shakespeare.

    I give you some examples here:

    Lancelot

    An they have conspired together, I will not say you
    shall see a masque; but if you do, then it was not
    for nothing
    that my nose fell a-bleeding on
    Black-Monday last at six o’clock i’ the morning,
    falling out that year on Ash-Wednesday was four
    year, in the afternoon.

    Shakespeare, The Merchant Of Venice.

    And we have it in literature from several authors born in Victorian times.

    Here you can see it in the literature of Jack London:

    Not for nothing had he been exposed to the pitiless struggles for life in the day of his cubhood, when his mother and he, alone and unaided, held their own and survived in the ferocious environment of the Wild.

    Jack London, White Fang

    It is also in Robert Louis Stevenson´s writings:

    It is not for nothing that this “ignoble tobagie” as Michelet calls it, spreads all over the world.

    Robert Louis Stevenson “Virginibus Puerisque and Other Papers”

    The expression "Not for nothing" is also in the writings of C.S. Lewis:

    It is not for nothing you are named Ransom.

    C.S. Lewis, Perelandra.

    “Be sure it is not for nothing that the Landlord has knit our hearts so closely to time and place – to one friend rather than another and one shire more than all the land.”

    C.S. Lewis, The Pilgrim´s Regress.

    So please publish your example(s) if you have some. Thanks.

    Best wishes, Pierre

  • #2
    Originally posted by Pierre View Post
    This thread is not about the GSG in itself but it is about the expression
    "not for nothing".
    My dear boy, if it is not too much trouble, can I ask: what connection does the expression "not for nothing" have with the Ripper murders?

    Where in the entire case do we find such an expression either written or spoken?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
      My dear boy, if it is not too much trouble, can I ask: what connection does the expression "not for nothing" have with the Ripper murders?

      Where in the entire case do we find such an expression either written or spoken?
      If you try to destroy this thread by going off topic I will have to do something about it this time, David.

      You are off topic by questioning the reason for me posting my thread. Stop it. Thanks.

      Comment


      • #4
        This thread is not about the GSG in itself but it is about the expression
        "not for nothing".

        In this thread anyone can publish versions of this expression, so that we may have a collection of different uses of it.

        I therefore invite those who have some examples to publish them here.

        The only requirement is that the examples contain the construction "not for nothing" and were written by authors born in Victorian times or earlier, but preferably Victorian times.

        Firstly, the expression was constructed like this in the GSG (just a reminder, no discussion about the GSG now):

        "...are not the men that will be blamed for nothing" or, if you prefer another version:

        "...are the men that will not be blamed for nothing".

        Now, some people believe that the expression was a "cockney double negative" used especially by the lower classes in Whitechapel.

        Therefore, it would be very interesting to see some examples for that use with the construction "not for nothing" here. So please post if you have such.

        But the expression "not for nothing" also has a long history in English literature, dating back to Shakespeare.

        I give you some examples here:

        Lancelot

        An they have conspired together, I will not say you
        shall see a masque; but if you do, then it was not
        for nothing that my nose fell a-bleeding on
        Black-Monday last at six o’clock i’ the morning,
        falling out that year on Ash-Wednesday was four
        year, in the afternoon.

        Shakespeare, The Merchant Of Venice.

        And we have it in literature from several authors born in Victorian times.

        Here you can see it in the literature of Jack London:

        Not for nothing had he been exposed to the pitiless struggles for life in the day of his cubhood, when his mother and he, alone and unaided, held their own and survived in the ferocious environment of the Wild.

        Jack London, White Fang

        It is also in Robert Louis Stevenson´s writings:

        It is not for nothing that this “ignoble tobagie” as Michelet calls it, spreads all over the world.

        Robert Louis Stevenson “Virginibus Puerisque and Other Papers”

        The expression "Not for nothing" is also in the writings of C.S. Lewis:

        It is not for nothing you are named Ransom.

        C.S. Lewis, Perelandra.

        “Be sure it is not for nothing that the Landlord has knit our hearts so closely to time and place – to one friend rather than another and one shire more than all the land.”

        C.S. Lewis, The Pilgrim´s Regress.

        So please publish your example(s) if you have some. Thanks.

        Best wishes, Pierre

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Pierre View Post
          If you try to destroy this thread by going off topic I will have to do something about it this time, David.

          You are off topic by questioning the reason for me posting my thread. Stop it. Thanks.
          Oh my dear boy, how can I possibly be going off topic by questioning the reason for you posting your thread? Isn't that by definition on topic?

          I'm wondering what you think you can do about it. How can you stop me asking questions about the subject of your thread?

          On that aspect, you may recall that I was asking what connection does the expression "not for nothing" have with the Ripper murders?

          Where in the entire case do we find such an expression either written or spoken?

          If your thread has nothing to do with the Ripper murders but is a general question about the English language then might I suggest it should not be posted in the "Motive, Method and Madness" section of this Jack the Ripper Casebook forum but should be posted in a forum on the history and development of the English language?

          Comment


          • #6
            This thread is not about the GSG in itself but it is about the expression
            "not for nothing".

            In this thread anyone can publish versions of this expression, so that we may have a collection of different uses of it.

            I therefore invite those who have some examples to publish them here.

            The only requirement is that the examples contain the construction "not for nothing" and were written by authors born in Victorian times or earlier, but preferably Victorian times.

            Firstly, the expression was constructed like this in the GSG (just a reminder, no discussion about the GSG now):

            "...are not the men that will be blamed for nothing" or, if you prefer another version:

            "...are the men that will not be blamed for nothing".

            Now, some people believe that the expression was a "cockney double negative" used especially by the lower classes in Whitechapel.

            Therefore, it would be very interesting to see some examples for that use with the construction "not for nothing" here. So please post if you have such.

            But the expression "not for nothing" also has a long history in English literature, dating back to Shakespeare.

            I give you some examples here:

            Lancelot

            An they have conspired together, I will not say you
            shall see a masque; but if you do, then it was not
            for nothing that my nose fell a-bleeding on
            Black-Monday last at six o’clock i’ the morning,
            falling out that year on Ash-Wednesday was four
            year, in the afternoon.

            Shakespeare, The Merchant Of Venice.

            And we have it in literature from several authors born in Victorian times.

            Here you can see it in the literature of Jack London:

            Not for nothing had he been exposed to the pitiless struggles for life in the day of his cubhood, when his mother and he, alone and unaided, held their own and survived in the ferocious environment of the Wild.

            Jack London, White Fang

            It is also in Robert Louis Stevenson´s writings:

            It is not for nothing that this “ignoble tobagie” as Michelet calls it, spreads all over the world.

            Robert Louis Stevenson “Virginibus Puerisque and Other Papers”

            The expression "Not for nothing" is also in the writings of C.S. Lewis:

            It is not for nothing you are named Ransom.

            C.S. Lewis, Perelandra.

            “Be sure it is not for nothing that the Landlord has knit our hearts so closely to time and place – to one friend rather than another and one shire more than all the land.”

            C.S. Lewis, The Pilgrim´s Regress.

            So please publish your example(s) if you have some. Thanks.

            Best wishes, Pierre

            Comment


            • #7
              My dear boy, you seem very insistent.

              Can I tell you that the classic cockney expression would be:

              "I have not done nothing"

              Which would be more likely to be expressed as:

              "I ain't done nothing" or "I ain't done nuffink".

              An example from literature may be found in an 1879 book called Coward Conscience by Frederick William Robinson:

              "I don’t know what genelman", said Larry, passing the back of his hand over his broken nose and sniffing violently; "I ain’t done nuffink but bring a message to a lady. I was to wait for a’ hanswer, and a bloomin’ nice time she’s been about it too".


              Or in real life, from the testimony of PC Hayward 292 M at Southwark Police Court in March 1878 reporting that his prisoner, George Jones, arrested on a charge of stealing, said to him when captured, "Don’t you be so fly; I ain’t done nothing." (Times, 9 March 1878).

              Now if you insist on the construction including the words "not", "for" and "nothing" then we find this in a story called Miss St Clair by Clara F. Guernsey published in "Today: The Popular Illustrated Magazine”, 3 May 1873

              "They’d taken him to the poorhouse – Alice’s son – my own blood relation, the little fellow I’d nursed and tended. He said they were good to him, and that he didn’t want for nothing".

              In case you don't follow, that can also be expressed as: he did not want for nothing.

              Then we also have some dialogue from Richard Rowe's 1880 Picked up in the Streets, or Struggles for Life Amongst the London Poor where we find such sentences as:

              "No my rent ain’t runnin’ on for nuffink, then."

              "..but natur don’t require ye to let folk pitch into you for nuffink, mother or no mother."

              So there we have "ain't... for nuffink" or "is not.. for nothing" and "don't...for nuffink" or "do not...for nothing".

              If I can be of any further assistance my dear boy please don't hesitate to ask but I trust that this is now the end of this thread.

              Comment


              • #8
                The Oxford Dictionary defines the phrase "not for nothing" as meaning "for a very good reason."

                https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/de...ot_for_nothing

                This meaning fits well with your examples, as well as those offered at the link above.
                Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
                ---------------
                Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
                ---------------

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post
                  The Oxford Dictionary defines the phrase "not for nothing" as meaning "for a very good reason."

                  https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/de...ot_for_nothing

                  This meaning fits well with your examples, as well as those offered at the link above.
                  Thanks, Pcdunn!

                  Let´s see if people here have any examples for the "cockney"/"East End" Victorian use of the expression also!

                  Best wishes, Pierre

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                    My dear boy, if it is not too much trouble, can I ask: what connection does the expression "not for nothing" have with the Ripper murders?

                    Where in the entire case do we find such an expression either written or spoken?
                    Originally posted by Pierre View Post
                    If you try to destroy this thread by going off topic I will have to do something about it this time, David.

                    You are off topic by questioning the reason for me posting my thread. Stop it. Thanks.
                    Now I've heard it all, "Off Topic" for asking what the thread is about.

                    G U T

                    There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=David Orsam;417087]

                      My dear boy, you seem very insistent.
                      Thanks, David. Now, let´s compare your examples with "not for nothing" and see if they match. We need not+for+nothing.

                      Can I tell you that the classic cockney expression would be:

                      "I have not done nothing"

                      Comparing this to: "not for nothing". Problem: "for" is missing. Conclusion: no match.


                      Which would be more likely to be expressed as:

                      "I ain't done nothing" or "I ain't done nuffink".

                      Comparing this to: "not for nothing". Problem: "for" is missing. Conclusion: no match.

                      An example from literature may be found in an 1879 book called Coward Conscience by Frederick William Robinson:


                      "I don’t know what genelman", said Larry, passing the back of his hand over his broken nose and sniffing violently; "I ain’t done nuffink but bring a message to a lady. I was to wait for a’ hanswer, and a bloomin’ nice time she’s been about it too".
                      Comparing this to: "not for nothing". Problem: "for" is missing. Conclusion: no match.

                      Or in real life, from the testimony of PC Hayward 292 M at Southwark Police Court in March 1878 reporting that his prisoner, George Jones, arrested on a charge of stealing, said to him when captured, "Don’t you be so fly; I ain’t done nothing." (Times, 9 March 1878).
                      Comparing this to: "not for nothing". Problem: "for" is missing. Conclusion: no match.

                      Now if you insist on the construction including the words "not", "for" and "nothing" then we find this in a story called Miss St Clair by Clara F. Guernsey published in "Today: The Popular Illustrated Magazine”, 3 May 1873
                      Here is where you should have started, David.

                      "They’d taken him to the poorhouse – Alice’s son – my own blood relation, the little fellow I’d nursed and tended. He said they were good to him, and that he didn’t want for nothing".

                      In case you don't follow, that can also be expressed as: he did not want for nothing.
                      More literature. Not an example from the East End. Well.

                      Comparing this to: "not for nothing". Not+for+nothing included. Conclusion: match. Problem: Not the same meaning. Problem: Not an authentic source with quotes but literature.

                      Then we also have some dialogue from Richard Rowe's 1880 Picked up in the Streets, or Struggles for Life Amongst the London Poor where we find such sentences as:

                      "No my rent ain’t runnin’ on for nuffink, then."
                      Comparing this to: "not for nothing". Not+for+nothing included. Conclusion: match. But literature instead of an authentic source.

                      "..but natur don’t require ye to let folk pitch into you for nuffink, mother or no mother."
                      Comparing this to: "not for nothing". Not+for+nothing included. Conclusion: match. Problem: More literature.

                      So there we have "ain't... for nuffink" or "is not.. for nothing" and "don't...for nuffink" or "do not...for nothing".

                      If I can be of any further assistance my dear boy please don't hesitate to ask but I trust that this is now the end of this thread.
                      David, do you have any sources from inquests or trials were people from the East End are being quoted?

                      It seems this is the language of literature and authors perspective on people.
                      Last edited by Pierre; 06-05-2017, 01:39 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Pierre View Post
                        Thanks, David. Now, let´s compare your examples with "not for nothing" and see if they match. We need not+for+nothing.
                        But why are we comparing with "not for nothing"? What does the expression "not for nothing" have to do with the Ripper case?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                          But why are we comparing with "not for nothing"?
                          The most fantastic thing in the world my dear David: Generating knowledge.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Pierre View Post
                            literature instead of an authentic source.
                            Would it be impolite of me to point out that all of your sources for the expression "not for nothing" were from literature?

                            Therefore I thought that is what you wanted.

                            There were no tape recorders in the nineteenth century my dear boy so it's a bit hard to provide you with an example of an actual person speaking if that's your demand.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                              But why are we comparing with "not for nothing"? What does the expression "not for nothing" have to do with the Ripper case?
                              Nothing more BS from the expert.

                              Posts the same thing over and over again on this thread won't say what he's trying to get at with a phrase seen nowhere in the case.
                              G U T

                              There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                              Comment

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